Jeff Kardas, ProMotocross.com

Dylan Ferrandis remains focused on the championship

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Beginning with Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season at WW Ranch, Dylan Ferrandis turned a corner and has arguably been the hottest rider on the circuit since.

Finishing fourth in Moto 1 in Jacksonville, Fla. on a track that resembled a Supercross course more than a Motocross one, Ferrandis suffered through a poor start to that race. Then he stormed back to win Moto 2 and the French-born rider has not looked over his shoulder since.

In the past five races of the season, he has earned four podium finishes and two overall victories – the most recent of which came in the last race at Washougal. It was a perfect weekend; Ferrandis earned maximum points with a pair of moto wins.

What changed halfway through the WW Ranch?

According to Ferrandis: nothing. Well, nothing much. Maybe a slight adjustment in attitude.

“The Supercross season took me a lot of energy and focus so I needed couple races to really get back into the outdoors flow,” Ferrandis told NBC Sports. “But nothing really changed before or after WW ranch, just maybe more confidence on myself.”

Winning will certainly give a rider confidence and since the midway point of at WW Ranch, he has done a lot of that. The following week Ferrandis won Moto 2 at Southwick. He was perfect at RedBud in Buchanan, Mich. with his pair of moto wins and was flawless again at Washougal to five him four moto wins of the latest six.

His key to success in recent weeks has been better starts at the beginning of each moto.

“I haven’t really practiced or changed anything on the bike for the starts,” Ferrandis continued. “The problem was more in my mind. It took me couple races to figured it out but now I feel way better.”

Unfortunately after a modest start to the season, coupled with the near-perfect record of Adam Cianciarulo in the first four rounds, Ferrandis has needed better than 20-20 vision to see what is in front of him.

“My mind is still the same,” Ferrandis said. “I always ride to win, 28 points deficit or not, but now for sure I really look to win this championship and for that I’m in must-win position.”

While Cianciarulo may be a little too far ahead to see clearly as the series enters Unadilla, that is not Ferrandis’ focus.

Ferrandis knows the only thing in his control during the final three events is how he sits atop the bike and how much power he can get out of his Yamaha. He may need to be perfect in the final rounds, but that has already happened twice in the last three weeks with his sweeps at RedBud and Washougal.

“I never really look at other riders during races,” Ferrandis said. “I try to only focus on myself and on my riding but we all know that AC is most of the time out front and if I am too, I am always aware of where he is during the race.”

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.